Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie 255, 2014.
Since 2009 the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC 806) “Our Way to Europe – Culture-Environment Interaction and human Mobility in the Late Quaternary” has investigated the origin and dispersal of early modern humans from Africa to Eurasia. A couple of projects has focused on the Middle East, the Balkan Peninsula and the Carpathic Basin, thus following one possible pathway of human migration about 50,000 to 30,000 years ago. From the archaeological point of view, this is the time when the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic “transition” (or rather the boundary between the two eras?) occurred.
When Dirk Leder came up with the idea to investigate this crucial time range with a focus on southern Lebanon the Research Centre immediately accepted the author’s plan as a dissertation project. Dirk Leder’s work is based on his own studies in Beirut, London, Basel and Cologne, of all important archaeological inventories available. As a pioneering work, the present volume delivers new, first-hand information from sites which were previously poorly known.
Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie 250, 2014.
The Ksieza Josefa open-air site in Krakow illustrates the time of the latest Middle Palaeolithic and the Earliest Upper Palaeolithic around 40,000 years ago in Southern Poland. Throughout the whole sequence, human activities are dominated by the production of stone artefacts which is documented at unique preservation and high spatial resolution allowing for intensive refitting of the silex nodules exploited. If, at the lower occupation surface, every single nodule was really exploited by one (Neanderthal) person at one time, then there are dozens of episodes representing a wide variety of technical recipies applied by different craftsmen or craftswomen. In the upper layers, lithic recipies changed into patterns usually known as "Upper Palaeolithic" ones; herein, typologically indicative tools are, however, missing.
The authors opened up one of the most detailed windows into the technological and spatial behaviour at a "time of transition". This "time of transition" saw the replacement of the latest Neanderthals by the earliest modern humans in Europe – one of the major topics of the Cologne-Bonn-Aachen CRC 806.
Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie 239, 2013.
What does it mean to be human? This key question forms the starting point of the present work. How can the specific evolutionary pathway which led to the genesis of modern humans differentiated from other trajectories, especially those which led to the extinction of our evolutionary relatives such as Neanderthals? The hallmark of the unique capability of social cognition is a special way of empathizing with others and with the world. Our empathic constitution is much more elaborated than in non-human primates, Neanderthals or other beings, which evolution has brought to life during the course of earth’s history. Higher empathy and its characteristic recursive mind reading abilities which enable us to competently understand and interpret others in their actions, emotions and mental states, raises man to modern man. Only this cognitive modernity is the primary thread in fabric of being human. Man is and has always been primarily empathetic: Homo empathicus.
Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie 219, 2012.
Functional Variability in the Late Upper Palaeolithic of North-Western Europe" – the thesis of Katsuhiro Sano was published in December 2012 as volume 219 within the series "Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie". It presents use wear analyses of lithic artefacts from some Magdalenian sites in Western Europe which might have belonged to one and the same regional Magdalenian group, regularly migrating between the Meuse and the Middle Rhine river valleys. This study makes visible a regional pattern which must have played an important role within the process of Magdalenian resettlement of North-Western Europe after the second glacial maximum and which probably represented different seasonal and functional situations within a system of hunter-gatherer annual mobility. Thus, this dissertation written at the Institute of Prehistory Archaeology of the University of Cologne has made a considerable contribution to one of the principal topics of CRC 806 „Our Way to Europe.